Forecast for Rain

Yesterday the Governor of NC ordered a state of emergency for all 100 counties. Heavy rain is forecasted from today right on through the weekend. Although Hurricane Joaquin isn’t expected to make landfall along our coast, the storm is still going to feed massive amounts of moisture into the area as it mixes with another weather system.

Miss Cindy’s new digs down the road came with a humongous tree that had grown smack dab in the middle of the yard, nestled between the house and various out buildings. The house was built in the 1930s and I swear the tree has probably been growing that long if not longer.

The top had died in the last several years leaving an unstable tree hovering over her and the house. This past winter a huge limb came down, thankfully landing in a narrow gap between the house and out buildings.

Last week we were finally able to get the tree at Miss Cindy’s down. We’ve also been able to get the towering pine trees on the bank above our house down. The Deer Hunter and one of his friends have been working evenings and weekends to get it all done and it ain’t done yet! But knowing the tree at Miss Cindy’s is down and knowing the pine above the corner of our kitchen is down will leave me feeling much better during this spot of bad weather as well as through the winter to come.

Seeing the various flood watches for our surrounding area has left me worrying about other folks. The impending weather also reminded me of posts I’d shared in the past about rain especially one where I mentioned a heavy rain being called a “little Noah” a term I wasn’t familiar with until I read it in the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. Here are a few comments from you about rain.

  • Mamabug: Never heard of a little Noah. Folks around here sometimes refer to heavy rain as gully washers or frog stranglers. We had a hard rain here last night.
  • Steve in TN: Rain is a great soother. It is best when you don’t have to work in it, but as I get older, it is always welcome. But I have also learned that too little or too much of anything isn’t good. We called them gully washers.
  • Bradley: I’ve heard most of the sayings about rain. There was one I used to hear concerning an impending hard rain. Granny used to say (and I was never really sure of the mechanics ), “Boys, now you need to get inside cause it’s fixin’ to rain like two cats a fightin’.” I suppose she meant when two male cats were competing for the attention of a female that they would spit at one another alot. I suppose the amount of spitting would be directly proportional to the desirability of the female. That is about as good a G-rating description as I can say.
  • Wanda in NoAla: Tipper, I haven’t heard little Noah, but all the rest are commonly used here. My daddy used to say ‘the bottom fell out’.
  • Don Casada: “Fell a flood” was mentioned at our family reunion last Sunday. Around 1940, there was what Pearl Cable called a water spout in Coots Cove, on the east side of Pilkey Creek basin. It was a very localized pouring (Pearl didn’t recall it even raining at their house, less than a mile away) which completely decimated the area, washing away homes, Mae Posey’s mill, and the bridge below the mill. A dead cow was left hanging up in a tree more than ten feet off the ground. The swath it cut appears to have been close to 100 ft wide in places, leaving nothing other than rocks in its wake. This is on a feeder stream which a 60 year old feller wearing a backpack can normally jump across. In early September of 1951, there was a washout event over on the TN side where a wall of water came down the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River in Gatlinburg and carried cars downstream. Good thing neither of these events happened recently – they’d surely have been the result of global warming 😉
  • Ken: Tipper, I’m very familiar with the Deer Hunter’s saying about rain. And I say it came a “young Noah” when it comes a downburst and starts flooding. Way back in the 30’s, before I was even thought about, my parents had a cloudburst and they escaped in the middle of the night with 3 of my older brothers. They lost everything…Ken
  • Ed Ammons: The first TV we ever had, had come from a TV shop in Franklin that had been flooded. The set worked just fine when we could “get a picture”. When it finally gave up, me and Harold opened it up to try to fix it and it still had mud inside.

In the winter months I’m disappointed when the forecast for snow doesn’t materialize, but this time I’m hoping the forecast is all wrong and no one suffers from flooding.

If you’ve got any rain sayings to add to the list please leave a comment I’d love to hear it!



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  • Reply
    October 13, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    “raining cats and dogs and I just stepped in a poodle” was considered a knee-slapper in 1st grade!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    So far it hasn’t rained enough to call it a gully washer although the creeks are high, but it has been raining sideways with all this wind.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    October 3, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    An East Wind is an Ill Wind.

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    October 3, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Only rain saying I can think of is “raining cats and dogs.” Now I don’t see any animals coming down in this torrential downpour (thank God), but Mother Nature sure is throwing her wrath at old NC tonight.
    There’s flooding now in several counties, the news station said:
    “FLASH FLOOD WARNING – Issued: October 02 at 11:44PM EDT – Expiring: October 03 at 4:00AM EDT
    Areas Affected: Anson; Chatham, Johnston, Montgomery; Moore; Richmond; Stanly”
    Praying for all affected, with special prayers for the animals at the zoo in Richmond or Stanly county (can’t remember which), at the mercy of humans who may be dealing with hazards of their own.
    Thank you God for holding us all in Your mighty hands this night and every night.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Has anyone ever heard of the height of snails on a tree or wall predicting the flood water level? Growing up in the “tip o’ Texas” I found that to be true prior to tropical activity coming on shore. However, now that I’m in Central Texas, these snails must just want a good view. They have foretold rains as much as two weeks in advance but not the amount. They are currently gathering at the top of fence posts with several a good 5ft up the trees.
    As for rain and weddings, my kids are 3 for 3. Oldest son married in December on a chilly misty-moisty day. Daughter married on a very stormy day in New Jersey this month. Trees were falling in the roads and umbrellas were turning inside out; but the guests were good sports (though soggy)and miraculously the electricity generally stayed on (we had plenty of candles). Youngest son just married on July 13th. After many problems with scheduling, he and his new bride decided to “elope” and have a “formal ceremony” later. She was excited to be married on the 13th since that number is considered good luck in her birthplace, northern Italy. She also kept saying she hoped it would rain. When he asked her why (he had arranged for a special ceremony on the beach) she said it was tradition that the more rain on the wedding day, the more children (or money – she thought maybe both). She got her wish and they had many showers on their way to their favorite cay/key and a few light showers around the ceremony. The weather also made for lovely wedding pictures on the beach. [Son even found a combination preacher/photographer who did a fine job on both fronts (we got a video).]

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 2, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Correction: The debris flow on Peeks Creek killed five and seriously injured two residents.

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    October 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Gully washer was probably the most common term for a hard rain in our area, but “rainin’ pitchforks and (racial slur deleted) babies” was heard a lot too back in the day.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 2, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve never heard of a “Young Noah” but my favorite was heard several years ago when I had gone to Robbinsville to pick up a prisoner, a local character came in and exclaimed “Boys it’s coming a stump floating lizard drowner”. I remember getting a call one night about a waterspout on Land’s Creek about flooding, I came around a curve and the first thing I knew I was bumper deep in water and mud. This spout fell on the north side of Sharptop and cleared everything down to solid rock. This was similar to but much smaller than the Debris Flow off Fishhawk Mtn. on Peeks Creek in Macon Co. in Sept. 2004 that destroyed 15 homes and killed four residents. The ground was saturated when the rain hit and liquefied the ground. Hopefully we will not have this happen this time.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 2, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I opened the front door once to go get my newspaper & found a huge tree limb right in front of me! Just missed the house, thank the Lord! Yall keep safe & dry.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Been thinking of you with the weather forecast. Will keep you in prayers.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    My Dad always said that if we got rain out of the east (in SE KY) we could expect a lot of it and it would last two or three days. I didn’t make the connection then but it was probably Appalachian folk wisdom for rains off a hurricane. It was rare for us to get rain from the east. I think it is a bit more common for you all in NC to get rain from the Atlantic though.
    Be safe you all. Remember the National Weather Service slogan “Turn around, don’t drown”. I knew someone who lost a friend because he tried to drive across a bridge he was very familar with that was covered with water. But it wasn’t there. It had washed away. You can’t tell what has happened under the water with culverts, bridges or even the road itself. And a car can float with only about 18 to 24″ of water.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Along about 1930-1935 (way before
    I was born) it came a “cloudburst” where my parents lived in the Hurley Cove. Washed away their
    chickens, hogs, and their house.
    They heard it coming, grabbed my
    3 older brothers and ran to the
    ridge along with the dogs. I
    remember mama telling how she
    could hear her beloved chickens
    going out of hearing, headed
    for Fontana…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Predicting rain doesn’t count.
    Building arks does.
    ~Warren Buffet~
    I reckon I have heard most all of the saying’s of rain or forecast of rain…listed today from your readers.
    I never heard Robin Greggs sayin’ “Trash Mover”, but did hear my relatives from Buncombe county say “Duck Drowner”…Also I have heard, “It rained so much that it was too wet for ducks” and “Hit rained so hard, that the fish just swam acrost the roads n’ fields frum crick to crick!” ha
    Glad you got those shallow rooted trees down…Why you might’ve had a “bank washer” that’d rolled ’em down and blocked your driveway!
    So many sayin’s…I had to nab a few from my stash I save for my scrapbooking pages…and share.
    This one applies to today and the Fall Festival…
    “There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends.”
    ~Arnot Sheppard~
    “The best thing one can do when its raining is to let it rain.”
    ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~
    “Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards!”
    ~Vladimir Nabokov~Russian cosmonaut
    “I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.”
    One of my favorite authors, in humorous wit, I quote…
    “It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain.
    ~Mark Twain~
    Thanks Tipper,
    Stay safe and dry!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 2, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I remember a cousin who came dashing in the house out of breath and sopping wet. Of course the natural reaction was to say, “Is it raining?”
    “Raining my (bleep), it’s coming a dang cycooter!”

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    …Like somebody turned up a wash-tub..

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Reading the comments made me laugh…”Rainin’ like a cow peein’ on a flat rock”! Oh, how I can just imagine the reality of that one!
    I hope that you don’t have much flooding, and I’m glad you got those trees down! We’re really hoping our corn doesn’t blow down, but that seems minor compared to those who’s homes and lives are in danger.

  • Reply
    James Michael Baker
    October 2, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Lots of different expressions are used to describe a hard rain around Birmingham; “rainin’ cats and dogs” or “rainin’ like cats and dogs” are common ones “toad choker” is one I’ve only heard used recently. Also, “gully washer”, “comin’ down in sheets”, “rainin’ to beat the band”, and “rainin’ buckets” or “pourin’ buckets” are common too.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Even your stories about rain stoke good and bad memories. There was nothing I loved better than watching a terrible thunderstorm from the window of my old mountain home–never any fear. That is also when we loved to get out on the porch with Mom’s ever present ironing board, throw a sheet over it, and make a dandy play house. You could not even turn those old heavy ironing boards over. Also never had the worry of flooding on top of our mountain.
    Later when I lived along the Bluestone River, flooding was a constant concern, and I dreaded those gully washers with a passion. Sometimes it would flood unexpectedly, even without rain, just because it had rained upstream. I still have great concern for all who are affected by flooding.
    Once many years ago we had a terrible ice storm. Being a bit of a hard head, I decided to do the driving required in my work. I drove down about a ten mile stretch of road with trees down all over the roads–all these were some sort of pine tree that had such small roots they just toppled over into the road. There were no other types of trees toppled into the road. I made it through on a prayer and song. Once you see those trees uprooted, it is forever imprinted how dangerous they are near a house.
    A box elder was once removed because it kept dropping limbs and drew bugs. The entire center was hollow–very dangerous. You are wise and blessed to remove those pine trees. I wish you and yours safety through the storm!

  • Reply
    Debbie Nobles
    October 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Prayers for you all after watching my house flood in 2014 with 24 inches of rain in 24 hours I pray for you all.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    October 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Sometimes we used “frog strangler”.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    October 2, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Ok,Tipper: It seems that everybody has experienced too much rain at one time or MORE. But the biggest and baddest recollection I ever heard was when the Tuckaseegee River flooded TWENTY FEET above flood level in Jackson County (1943).
    Last weekend Jim and I were attending a sad event at a park by the River,in East LaPort. We arrived early and just sat on a bench in the Park and enjoyed seeing/listening to the beautiful River. I have heard ‘the story of the great flood’ a dozen times! But every time Jim shares it he can recall another scary or amazing detail.
    In a few minutes we must decide on our weekend plans. So sorry you had to cancel your event!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Having lived in FL for many years, I have watched what is in the flooding. However, there is nothing more scary than to watch water turn into a rapid raging stream. That was not true in FL, but here in NC I hope that people will not be caught up in the raging overflows. To add to your rain saying, a nursery rhyme I remember is rain, rain, go away.

  • Reply
    johnny hurt
    October 2, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Years ago an ole man told me about the weather. He said everybody talks about the weather. But they cant do nothing about it.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 9:03 am

    We always called heavy rain a gully washer. About twenty or twenty five years ago, I planted two white pine trees in my front yard just a few feet from my porch. My brother-in-law kept after me to let him cut the huge yet gorgeous trees that were dangerously close to my house. I finally gave in and let him cut them just months before the devastating ice storm of January 2009. The falling trees sounded like a war zone here on the farm. It seems the pine trees were hardest hit. I’m thankful my brother-in-law knew more about the weak trees than I did. You will sleep better knowing your pine is no longer hovering over your house.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    October 2, 2015 at 9:01 am

    You are in my prayers! We always spoke of it raining cats and dogs. Or it would be a “real gully washer.” Or sometimes “the bottom just fell out of the sky.”

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    October 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

    “Rain, rain, go away;
    Come again another day!”
    Remember our childhood rhyme when we wanted the rain to clear so we could play outside again? Well, with a trip from Milledgeville to Cartersville tomorrow for my eldest grandson’s wedding, I would wish
    “Rain, rain, go away!”
    But to get there for the special occasion, I hope to go, rain or shine! And it looks like rain.
    Did I hear somewhere that if it rains on a wedding day it means “good luck” for the couple??

  • Reply
    Young Harris Bob
    October 2, 2015 at 8:42 am

    I had arranged to be off work on Saturday so we could go to the Fall Festival then was disappointed to find out you wouldn’t be there. We discussed going for awhile Sunday after church. Now with the rain may not make it at all. We’ll wait to see how the weather unfolds.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 2, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I have been watching the weather, it looks like Florida will be missed this time, but my heart is with you all. While not a saying; when it rains hard enough in Florida catfish are swimming in the roads and parking lots. Seen them myself

  • Reply
    Robin Gregg
    October 2, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Hey Tipper, this is Robin a friend of Miss Cindy. Here in Buncombe County there are two names for storms that I here often. It’s going to be a
    Trash Mover and the other is it came a Duck Drownder. Looks like we may be in for one of these this weekend.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 2, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Tipper, the flash flooding warning doesn’t even start till Saturday and we’ve already had a passel of rain. I’ve got water standing in the low spots out back. I am sooo glad we got our trees down. Every time the wind started blowing I worried for your house and mine. It always interesting to watch how things happen. That big limb fell of my tree a few months ago and, amazingly, didn’t touch anything, not the house or the studio or the workshop. It fell between the house and the workshop. Now, after looking for someone to take down the trees for quite some time, Scott shows up and with the deer hunter helping they get all the dangerous trees down and the next day the hazardous rains start and the high winds are coming in the next few days. You know we are being looked after!
    Yesterday I talked to Allan, the man who had this property before us. He said they had tried several times to get those trees down and actually had a man scheduled to come with a bucket truck and a storm came and stopped it. The storm made the ground too wet for the truck to drive on.
    So here it was three trees that came down and I don’t know how many came down at your house, but I will repeat….Someone is looking after us to get this done just before the rain and winds!

  • Reply
    Rosamary Christiansen
    October 2, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Rainin’ like a cow peein’ on a flat rock.

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